Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Consultant Geoffrey in town

Geoffrey, one of the head consultants of Nairbobis, came to Zanzibar in February to asses the (Zanzibits) situation at the time, in order to advise me on eventual action to take. Geoffrey, thanks for the fun times, good chats and interesting insights...

Here part of his report.

In general, the preparation has been handled very well. On the day I arrived I was received and taken straight to the school, which is situated at the center of the town. The school had no power at that moment thus understanding that power is a very big issue in Zanzibar, this is because sometimes people could go for days if not weeks without electricity but Guy Mullen assured me that he was on the process of buying and installing a power backup system together with the 12 computers (17” monitors P4) for the start of the course.

The 12 computers for the start of the course are being imported from Dubai because there is not one shop that is selling any genuine product(s) in Zanzibar, there are only two shops that are selling computers and accessories.

The School
The school is situated on the mezzanine floor of a two-storey flat; it is easily noticeable because of the big zanzibits Logo on the door of the school, 4 blocks away from the General post office, which has a cyber café. The school has 4 rooms, 1 kitchen and 2 bathrooms.

The four rooms are divided as follows;

Room1- this room is situated on your right after the main door entrance, which is the office of the trainers, the office can fit only two tables – two staff members.

Room2 – straight ahead from the main entrance is where the classroom is situated which has already been fitted with 4 fans on the 4 sides of the wall with 1 ceiling fan and Air conditioning which creates cool environment for learning given that the temperature can sometimes go up to 40 degrees C.The class is also fitted with a bookshelf that is spacious too. Geert is also on the process of buying an LCD projector to aide the trainer’s demonstrations in class; this will be controlled by the trainer working from His/Her laptop.

Room3 – this room is situated on the left side, which has a corridor. The corridor has 4 doors, the first 2 on your right is the conference/study room and the trainers room and the second two on the left is the kitchen next to it – the bathroom. We will have two trainers in the trainers’ room, one of which is a serious Muslim girl. I would like to suggest if there could be an accommodation alternative for one of the trainers. The security around the office has to beefed up, Guy said that a watchman will be in place by the time the computers will be arriving which is a few weeks from now. There is no or little incidents of theft and most of them are snatching or petty theft cases.

Visiting Partner Organizations
The following Day was packed with a series of Meetings with Youth Organizations for whom were very friendly with information about their operations, missions and objectives. But before meeting the youth organizations I had a meeting with two guys (Hashil and Aziz Ramadan) whom are working together with Guy to setup the school.

I went on to meet two organizations namely; - Stone Town youth Centre and Zanzibar youth forum.

Stone town youth centre
Is a learning institution that offers training in language and computer studies; we met with the deputy Head of the school because the principal was not around at the moment. We wanted to know how they get the youths to come and study in there institution, the age group that they deal with?, the youths lifestyle, is the education being given in the normal school setup enough for them to get a job, among other things.

What came out strongly is that the youths are generally lazy and like idling but has a lot of potential in them. The challenges they normally face is lateness, laziness and lack of concentration due to a lot of heat sometimes. Most of the youths are not involved in community-based projects of programs because there is no provision for that from the government.

Zanzibar youth forum.
Is an organization that acts as platform between the youths and government policies being disseminated to the youths and their communities, mostly they act as peer educators trained through government initiatives to create forums for discussion to sensitize issues relating HIV and AIDS, family planning e.t.c.

What follows is the laid out plan of how the youth organizations will collaborate with Zanzibits for the start of the course.

The students will be trained for free in various subjects, with the main focus on internet site design, digital graphical art, film making and editing, pre- and post production, internet skills and of course a wide range of social and professional skills. This is the responsibility of Zanzibits NGO. What is expected of the partnering youth organisations is that they morally support the students in each and every possible way. This means that they must follow up on the students and empower them when needed. We expect the partnering youth organisations to play an active role in the training, for which a contract will be drafted and signed by both parties. The youth organisations Zanzibits will partner with must have been in existence for at least 1 year. A copy of the certificate of registration is expected.

Besides this, Zanzibits expects the youth organisations to layout a plan on how the trained youths will share their skills after having successfully finished the Zanzibits training.

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